This is my first tea from Nepal. I was more than a little nervous learning that this is grown under similar conditions right across the border from Darjeeling-as I don’t care for 2nd flush Darjeelings at all.
Anyhow, the leaves are dark brown and tightly rolled with a liberal amount of golden buds mixed in. Dry leaf aroma is hard to describe-perhaps a faint note of licorice. The brewed aroma is that of what to me is typical 2nd flush Darjeeling-probably what others call “muscatel”, but to me it smell like some kind of corn liquor (as in corn alcohol).
The flavor is pretty much all the corn liquor-especially on the finish. It does get a bitter aftertaste as the tea cools. I CAN drink this-in fact I drank 4 ounces of a Rishi 2nd Flush Darjeeling (mainly because it was so expensive)-but I prefer not to.
I’m not giving this a numerical rating because I’ve never liked a 2nd flush darjeeling, so it doesn’t seem fair. It has all the characteristics of a quality tea, but it’s just not my preference. I would drink a cup of this if offered, but I would hope my host wouldn’t have a giant pot to share with me.